Twenty-13

This time last year I was tapering. And here I am doing it again. With only 1 1/2 weeks to go until Carlsbad it’s time to reflect back on twenty-12 and figure out just what the heck I am going to do with myself in twenty-13 (besides the obvious like fill up my DVR with guilty pleasures).

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Twenty Twelve:

Running:

Ran: 1,618 miles. Short of the goal I had set, but still an awesome accomplishment. Not sure when I found time (mostly before sunrise) but it happened.

5amphoto

* Had my first DNF. Learned a lot from this race.

*PR’d in the 5 mile15k, Half and Marathon Distance

This.is.fun! Cheeeeseee
This.is.fun! Cheeeeseee

* Ran an Ultra Relay with girls who are now my best friends 🙂

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* Finally found shoes that work for me and have been injury free ever since! Dear Brooks, I heart you and your Pure line.

Personal:

* We moved to a new city and rented out our little place. (Don’t you love how I make it sound like we ventured far away?)

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* Had a successful business year (although at times I felt royally defeated)

* My oldest started Kinder, finished his first season of pony league baseball and reminded me daily that he rules the world

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* My littlest continued her efforts to become a real life “mermaid” or “princess.” She started pre-k, and attempted to get me to sign her up for dance, gymnastics, soccer and softball. Ha! I love that she wants to do everything. She does not love that I make her choose one activity at a time.

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* We learned that my MIL was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This was the hardest part of 2012. She is an inspiration and a warrior. I look up to her more than she probably knows. She is still fighting this awful disease and we will not stop praying that she will be healed.

Mama Kay and her little Bear
Mama Kay and her little Bear

* Spent more time with family and friends. That was the best part of this year. Making time to see each other is HUGE!

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So what’s the haps for 2013? Set a goal to run a zillion miles? PR in life? I’ve decided upon no mileage/workout resolutions this year. I bust my hiney every dang day. Period.  Hard work + dedication = life change that I committed to 3 years ago.

BCOD

(#BCOD = Buttcrack of dawn. You all know that’s when I do the most work.)

Plans for Twenty-13:

Running

* Stay injury free, explore new places and have fun. No pressure, just good times 🙂 Motivate people to move their feet!

* Races- my schedule is pending. Nothing like waiting til the last minute to register!

Life

* Continue to pray for MIL and be an advocate for her. Cancer sucks.

* Do work. On the job and in life. I want to be present for everyone I come in contact with. That means for you to. Yes you reading this 🙂

* Read the bible from cover to cover and do my best to be a good and faithful servant.

* Work hard/Play hard. Bring on vacation! Life is short so we are going to do some exploring 🙂 WOOOHOOOO!!

Pretty simple eh? I like things that way. Overprogramming is not my gig.

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OK, I’m off to go over my training plan for the next couple weeks!

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Did you make any resolutions for 2013?

The 80s

I would like to thank each of you for your kind words on my Chicago Marathon recap. I know that every race will not be like that one but I am going to savor in its awesomeness for a little while. If nothing else I hope that it encourages us all to dig deep and have faith in ourselves. We can do so much more than we think we can.

And now…

I’m about to share a picture with you that will either make you laugh your arse off or scare you away forever. This is me, my little brother and my little sister in 1987.

At least my sister was little enough to avoid sweaters but I’m pretty sure she is rocking some sweet corduroy in this one. So why I am bringing this one out? Because this weekend we will be bringing back the 80s at this bad boy

When my sister first told me about it I was kind of “meh” on it. Mostly because I hate Fiesta Island. Not kidding. I had a bad experience at the end of RNR SD 2010 and pretty much swore off running there ever again.

And then she reminded me it’s her first 10k.

Not the 80s

And tempted me with this sweet medal

So I’m all signed up on team Punky Brew-ster and have my hot pink ready to go. No ugly sweaters in this crew but I’m sure we’ll see plenty on the course. More importantly I can’t wait to see my little cross that finish line.

Have you run a 10k?

Any advice for my little sis?

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I’m off to watch the GIANTS game but before I go wanted to share a pic of me and my friends from a dinner date last week

Spending time with girlfriends is really important to me.  Getting to eat, drink and laugh without a care in the world is so much fun. FACT: there are just some things you can’t discuss with dudes. Thank you all for a fabulous night (even though I was a leeeeetle late)!

The Finish Line

The hardest part about being runner number 6 in an ultra relay is being the anchor. One by one your teammates finish and celebrate while you have to mentally prepare for one more go. It’s tough. Really tough.

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We went into the early AM hours ready to finish. Most of us had double-digit legs that normally would be a walk in the park. That is not the case in a race like this. SR took off for her final leg really strong. OUAL followed with a really speedy 7.5 miler. I think both Sarah’s had sub-8 paces! Margot then took on Torrey Pines. If you have run the La Jolla Half Marathon you know how difficult of a climb TP is! She looked so good as she finished and at that point we started to think we had a chance to win. We just had to keep our pace up but knew it wouldn’t be that easy. We were tired, we had been running double legs for 20ish hours and we were starting to feel delirious. We were only one exchange behind another female ultra team that started an hour and a half before us. If we catch them, we win. If we don’t it will be close.

Chiara was up next for a 15 mile run. Yes that says 15 miles. Normally 15 miles on a Sat is NBD. This was NOT a normal Sat. She mustered every last ounce of effort and finished at the beach. She had some doubt midway through yet she somehow set it aside and conquered it. Mental strength. So hard at this point in the game.

We were closing in on the last 4 legs and we would be done. Chiara came through the exchange, slapped the Ragnar bracelet onto Pam who then ventured out for 17 miles. Yes 17. Could it get any tougher??!? She made her way through Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and into Downtown making it look so easy. We met her at the Embarcadero with water and such and then she headed towards Chula Vista. My stomach was still janky. I had not eaten. I could barely drink but kept on sipping Nuun. I was mentally freaking out. I knew that Pam was running at a fast pace and I had to be ready to go. 11.3 miles. Less than a half marathon. I got that no prob, right? Riiiggghhhtttt.

Pam cruised in and had hammered out a 8:15ish pace. DANNNG GINA! I high-fived everyone and remembering saying “Let’s finish this!” Off I went.

The first 5 miles were so weird. My legs were heavy, my mind was wandering and my stomach was sloshing. You know when you can hear and feel water swishing around? That’s what was happening. It was a mental game. I made it through the first leg and I was so thankful that the course was flat. I would have been crawling if it wasn’t. My stomach growled. Crap, now I’m hungry? Crap! I need food. Why didn’t I eat? Oh yeah, I probably would have crapped! LOL! I had my phone with me and slowed to a jog and I texted our team. I basically said that I was dying (so dramatic, I know) and I’m sorry and I would be there soon. My 8 min pace slowed. I talked to a few people around me who looked fresh off of a good night’s sleep trying to channel their energy. It didn’t work (Note: If I was able to talk I was able to run faster. Hindsight is 20/20). I put headphones in. They made me nuts. I was jogging so slow that I should have just started speed walking. I decided at that point I would run 800m in the 8’s and 800m jogs. That is the only way I was going to finish without jeopardizing our team.

I sent another I’m alive text with 3.8 to go. I got an encouraging text back from Chiara saying they were there and to text when I am a mile out if I can. Look, you know I was not blazing along if I could text. However, I am quite proud that I can text and jog. Safe? No! Annoying to other runners? YES! Sorry for my rudeness people, but I needed my team!

I made it to this sign and stopped to take a pic

I  was so happy to see this sign. For whatever reason at that point I decided to walk for a minute when I heard “HOOOOONNNNNKKKKK. WOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHOOOOOOO!!!! GGGOOOOO NNNIIICCCCOOOLLLEEEEEE!!!” It was our 12-woman team!!  They were there to pick me up just when I needed it. That’s a TRUE TEAM. We may have been divided into 3 vans but we had each other’s back. FREAKING AWESOME! For just a moment I wanted to cry happy and sad tears at the same time.  Happy because they encouraged me to get my butt to the finish, sad because I knew they saw me looking like a total failure. I remembered I had a team waiting for me. I was not going to quit now.

I sent the last text. “Less than a mile. Lets effing finish.” That’s word for word.

I picked it up to an 8ish pace went through the tunnel and saw my team!! We lined up and ran to the finish (Margot hobbled, poor girl!) and got out medals.

WE DID IT.

WE FINISHED.

203.5 miles in just over 29 hours. Dang it felt good.

We hugged, we laughed, we took pictures. We celebrated

(Thanks Cajun Runner for the photos!)

We were so happy to be done. We went into this race knowing it would be awesome but we had no idea how it would change each of us. We learned a lot about what it means to be selfless, humble and supportive friends. We  had highs and lows and stood right by one another. We were a freaking team. We started as running friends and finished as sisters. Only 8 months before we were eating pizza, laughing making plans to run this race in like a record pace. We freaking did it.

Oh, and one last thing. You probably already know this but…WE WON!

Will we be back to defend our title next year? Pshaw. Come on. You know we can run faster than that! We are waaaaay to competitive to not come back and crush our time. I mean, we originally thought we could do it in 24 hours. We’ve got that. No doubt. Fo sho.

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So there you have it. My Ultra Ragnar experience in 4 super long posts. I am sure you all are ready to move on to a new topic!!  Thank you for letting me share this with you. I still smile watching the VLOGs and looking at the photos. This is an experience that I will never forget.

Thank you Pam, Sarah, Sarah, Chiara and Margot for all of the laughs, encouragement but most of all for your friendship. I mean that. When we are 85 and SR is still running ultras the rest of us will be drinking wine and reminiscing on this time. It will be awesome!

Thank you to all of our sponsors who took GREAT care of us!

BIC Bands

Nuun

Click Espresso Protein

Pro Compression Socks

Running Skirts

Run Pretty Far

Aspaeris Pivot Shorts

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And now on to the next race. It’s soon friends. VERY soon.

!@$*&!@#…and a Ragnar Slide Show

Well, somehow I lost my entire, sappy Ragnar post. I’m kind of ticked that I have to start over but it is what it is. Technology. @#&%^#%^%!&. Love it. Until then enjoy this little ditty I put together. It’s short and sweet. Just how you like it 🙂

Eating, Celebrating, Eating, Celebrating

Heeelllooooo. How is everyone? It’s a rainy morning here in SoCal and I love it. Why? Because it gave me an excuse to not get out of bed this morning (Wednesday is my rest day) and drink extra coffee. No brainer. Cold + rain = coffee. Speaking of coffee did you know that it could possibly improve memory? That’s what I read HERE anyway. We all know that whatever is on the internet is totally true.

Things have been pretty crazy for me the past week or so.

It was my birfday

I took in a ball game (yessssss, love me some baseball)

Spent time with my favorite friends so we could finalize our Ragnar Plans. We have 2 teams that are ready to dominate. Or something like that.

SR, OUAL, Margot, ChaCha, Pam and her son who also acted as our handsome body guard.

Pam brought a cake! Since I am the same age forward and backwards it makes sense to eat desert more than once.

I celebrated Easter with my fam bam and went to service on the beach. We do this every year and I can’t imagine celebrating any other way.

I ate. A lot.

When I took this picture my Dad asked if I was trying to get a picture of his bald spot. Ha ha, vert funny. Beings that he is a male model and all

Can you tell I look just like him?

To sum it up I have been eating, celebrating, eating, celebrating and eating.

What have I not done a lot of this past week? Running. After my crazy 5 race weekend I took some time to cross train and allow a sore left heel to recover. You all know I have dealt with PF in the past so I do not want to risk dealing with that monster.

I ran on Mon and Tues and it felt ehhhh. Not terrible but definitely not pain free. That means it’s time to let it chill a little more. Today is a rest day with my plan being to cross train tomorrow, a few easy miles on Friday and a long run this weekend. If it’s sore on Friday the long run will have to wait. Never worth possible making it worse.

So what’s next? My focus is on being 100% ready to take on 30 miles for our relay next weekend. For those of you in SoCal make sure you are on Twitter as we will be posting updates and may or may not have a giveaway or two at certain exchanges.  Funnnnnn.

Before I head out to TCB I wanted to mention that one of our awesome Ragnar Sponsors, Pro Compression is currently offering $20 off their socks and free shipping in the month of April! Use code RR20 at checkout and hook yo’ self up. I have the baby blue argyle marathon socks and loooovvvvee em.  Do it. Before you miss out.

SD Hot Chocolate 15k Race Recap

So if you are on Twitter you saw me all yippy-kai-yay yesterday about a new PR at the Hot Chocolate 15k. And I did it on this course

BUT, before we discuss the race…

On Saturday afternoon I decided I DID NOT feel like running. I had a hard week and I was just plain feeling lazy. Getting up at 4:30 a.m sounded like a HORRIBLE idea. I knew this course was going to be hilly and I was all boo-hoo about it. Total wimp.

Alarm went off on Sunday and I stomped my way to the coffee pot. Legs felt heavy and I was still all cry baby wimpy. Had a major talk with myself about how a bad attitude will make for a bad race. I can either suck it up and do it or if I am going to be a debbie downer I can just head back to bed.

So I decided to suck it up. I showered, drank a couple of cups of coffee and put my game face on. I headed downtown and found street parking really quickly. I found Chacha on a street corner. Ok, kidding. She texted me that she was standing on the corner so that we could walk to the start area together.

There was a ton of portapotties so we stopped there first. We then made our way to the schwag for sale tent to stay warm. We saw Ashley and Phil and their family/friends so we all hung out together until the start.

Once it was time to go I checked my bag (so easy) and we headed to Corral A. We were there for maybe 5ish minutes when I met Ciry. Thanks for saying hi! We then found our friends Margot, SR and Emily.

I super stole these photos from SR. Thanks guuuurrrrllll!

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DSCN9272

Being around friends that just makes running more fun. Goodbye grumpy gus it’s time to runnnnnn.

My plan was to try to stay around an average pace of 7:30 if possible. As you saw above I knew what I was in for so I wasn’t going to beat myself up if I ran 8’s.

When the gun went off it was an immediate uphill. I could hear everyone’s breathing sounding all cray so I felt comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only one feeling it. I had my headphones with me and decided to leave them off unless I needed them.

Miles 1-4 were all uphill with mile 4 being the toughest climb. Around 5 we started to climb again and I decided to turn on music as I knew we had a good downhill stretch coming I wanted to start to kick it into gear. At 6.5-7 we got a sweet downhill that felt so good. I thought we might be nearing the end of hill climbing as we entered the Golden Hill area of San Diego. Oh yeah, it’s called golden HILL. Ha! We had another climb through mile 8 and then let the sweet downhill to the finish begin.

Man it was such a reward to get that downhill at the end. Although we did have to run through homeless tunnel and it was kind of creepy. I think it made all of us kick it up a notch just to get out of there.

As I approached the finish I looked at my watch and knew I was going to PR!

I crossed in 1:10:48, average pace of 7:35, 44th woman, 10th in my age group. A new PR by 1 min 40 seconds! WOOT!

I had my hubby take a pic of the back of this awesome new tank I am rocking by ViewSport. It is sweat activated (or for me I dump water on my neck at each aid station) and is so freaking awesome

Yes that says “CHASE ME.” Did it give people on the course motivation? I hope so!

After cheesing it up with my grin for a few minutes I congratulated my friends for all killing that course (I think there were several PRs) and headed to get my chocolate. I finally got to see my friend OUAL right before taking off. That girl ran 11 miles before the race and then went and ran the 15k like it was no big deal. Rockstar. I also got to meet Meggie! Hey girl! So nice to meet you 🙂

I had my doubts going into this race and came out feeling like a stronger runner. March has been a GREAT month for me. It has me excited to see what is in store for the rest of the year. I need to focus on staying healthy and being smart and if I can do it this it could be one heck of a 2012!

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Anyone else run the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k this weekend? Thoughts? Reviews?

I will post my review this week sometime 🙂

Congrats to my friends that ran the Dallas RNR 1/2!

The Day Before The Race

Before we get into the Tink recap/review let’s discuss events leading up to the race. I could have easily not run at all and you will know why momentarily. Well, maybe not momentarily- this post is kinda long.

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Saturday we rounded up the troops and headed to the OC. I figured it would be easier to stop by the expo before checking into the hotel. It was held at the Disneyland Hotel and was super organized. We got there around 11:30ish and had no problem parking and walking right in.

We walked around and checked out the vendors. Luna Bar had a lot of little bite sized bars they were handing out and we got a cup of yogurt from Oikos. There was the usual booths (iFitness, insoles, gels, the stick, etc) and some cute Disney themed ones. The kids got “pixie dusted” and we ended up with 48 hours worth of glitter. They loved it.

After doing the once around we headed to our hotel to get checked in before driving to Irvine for a Ragnar meeting!

I used trusty old Priceline and we ended up at Hotel Menage.

For $90 for the night the place is pretty nice. Room slept the 4 of us, good restaurant on site, a really nice pool/spa with an outdoor bar/lounge and it’s only .25 walk to the front gate of Disney. It is $10 to park overnight, but that is still cheaper than at the park itself. Bonus: there was a shuttle stop there that took me to the start of the race.

We literally threw our stuff into the room and headed out to Mason Park in Irvine to meet up with Team “So Much Cooler Online” to start getting organized for our Race in April.

OUAL is our head honcho and is very organized. If I was in charge we would be “Team Disaster.” Fact.

We talked serious business. Like how to battle a coyote on a dirt trail and how totally smelly we will be after 24 hours of awesomeness. Oh, and little things like vans, food, volunteers. No biggie.

I am so excited for this race. We have a great group (we missed those of you that couldn’t make it) and I know we are going to have a blast this April!

After hanging out with these cool chicas we headed back to the hotel to hang poolside and get some R&R before an early call on Sunday morning. What was supposed to be an awesome afternoon of sun and swim turned into a scare.

My 4-year-old ended up in the deep end, under water, not able to get to the surface. I had turned my back for literally 10 seconds to make sure my daughter was ok when he jumped in the pool to play with kids. He didn’t realize that it was the deepest part of the pool when he did it. I didn’t know he jumped in. I turned around and saw towel on the ground and no little boy. I literally ran to the side of the pool, saw him underwater and jumped in to get him. It was horrifying to see him underwater struggling the way he was. Thank the lord it was only for 10 seconds or so but it felt like a lifetime. My husband came running but by then I had him up out of the pool and we got him taken care of.

We had a very long talk about not going into the pool without a parent and the importance of learning to be a strong swimmer. I felt horrible as if I did something wrong and it made for a very long night. It’s one of those things as a parent that you replay over and over again in your head. Water safety is no joke- so glad everything turned out to be a-ok.

I think I finally fell asleep right before midnight…that 3:35 am alarm came way to soon.

A Week In Review

What have I been doing since this?

We drove back to SoCal on Monday and picked up these crazies

By Tuesday morning I was back to 10 hour work days. Good times.

Wednesday I ran an easy 4 miler and then decided to take the rest of the week off to recover. And work. A lot. Boo.

It’s so weird how a 4 day work week feels 10 times longer than a 5 day work week.

And then Friday arrived. And it was magical. Time for our annual “Friends Christmas Party/Gift Exchange/Kid Free Party.”

Prepare yourself for our SUPER CHEEEEEEESE

Some of our peeps. We are a chatty group. It’s hard to contain us.

Gift stealing. I mean really, who wouldn’t want a Hello Kitty toaster? This was a no brainer.

For the record I came home with a bag full of hair products. Freaking awesome!

The three amigos. We have been friends with “Kracken” for what feels like forever. We have had some seriously awesome times together. Last night we made a pact to be friends forever. That’s the five-year-old in me. I needed a pinky swear.

Finally the clock struck all of 11:00 pm and the grandma in me was ready for bed. OK, we actually had to peace out because I had just enough cash in my wallet to pay the babysitter.

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This morning was my day to lead the devotional at our usual Saturday runs at The Rock. On a whopping 6 hours of sleep I shared the story of my miracle daughter…and then busted out 10 miles.

Time.for.bed.